I LOVE New Zealand in the summer. Normally, it’s crisp mornings followed by bright blue, hot sunny days. But this summer has been pretty crap – although I’m thankful to be missing out on the Australian sweltering temperatures. The news here was talking about bushfires in Victoria and a 40° C (104 ºF) heatwave. Temperatures here in the South Island have been hanging around 20-24° C (68-75.2 ºF) and we get maybe two days of sun, then wham: it rains and the temperature drops. We even had a log fire crackling away about two weeks ago.

Due to the rain or threats of rain, we haven’t been able to cut the hay yet because, once the grass is cut, it needs three to four days to dry out before you can bale. And if the grass is rained on, well you can turn it over to dry it out but we’re talking three huge paddocks – so that’s no easy task. If you have baled up but haven’t carted the bales to the hay barn, you can’t let the bales get wet. Because then you’re faced with mould and basically your bales are ruined.

If you stacked the bales in a hay barn after the bales got wet, the mould will continue to grow and heat from inside the bale will be produced until the bales basically combust. And then you have a hay barn inferno on your hands. Wet bales can be fed to cattle but not horses. So we’re hoping that next week we get that legendary window of opportunity.

Meanwhile, we’re coping with some hares or rabbits on the property. They look cute with their fluffy tails but create burrows in the paddocks, which could be dangerous to the horses. Zeph is obsessed with them and has already caught one. I often see him running furiously after a fast darting hare or rabbit. And Zeph is proving to be more than a match for the fluffy ones.

Spot the bunnies.

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